“The Living Dead” Watch in Silence as “Every 15 Minutes” Concludes
On Wednesday March 23, 2011 the Irvine Police Department, in conjunction with Tustin Unified School District’s Beckman High School, concluded the two-day, “Every 15 Minutes” program during an assembly for juniors and seniors at the high school.
The previous day, students watched from curbside as emergency responders handled a mock collision scene where a DUI driver caused the death of one of their fellow students. The student participants left the accident scene with the hearse as the student body returned to their classrooms to contemplate the loss of their friends.
During the assembly, the somber crowd looked on in silence as the speaker, Desiree Garcia, a Woodbridge High School Alumni, described loosing her mother in 2007 to a Drunk Driver’s reckless disregard for life.
The student participants in the program spent two days with police personnel. Isolated from their families and friends to simulate the actual loss of a loved one, they were taken on tours of the police facility, courthouse, and mortuary. They witnessed the booking and arraignment of the suspect, and sat in the room where arrangements such as coffin selection and burial services are made. They watched and learned what the tragic consequences of driving under the influence would look like and by the end of the program, what they would feel like.
The student participants also referred to as the “Living Dead”, sat silently on stage during the assembly and watch over their peers and parents while they read letters, reflecting on the emotion 48 hours of virtual death.